Understanding the right time to introduce broiler finisher feed is crucial for maximizing the growth and development of your broiler chickens. In this article, I will provide you with valuable insights into when and how to use broiler finisher feed effectively. So, let’s dive in and explore the world of broiler nutrition!
Understanding the Stages of Broiler Growth
Before we delve into the topic, let’s take a moment to understand the different stages of broiler growth. Broiler chickens go through three primary stages:
- Starter Stage: This is the initial stage, usually from day one to three weeks of age, where broilers require a feed known as “starter feed.” Starter feed is formulated with high protein content to support the rapid growth and development of the chicks during this critical phase.
- Grower Stage: Following the starter stage, broilers enter the grower stage, which typically spans from week four to week six or seven. During this period, the birds transition to a feed known as “grower feed.” Grower feed is formulated to meet the changing nutritional needs of broilers as they continue to grow but at a slightly slower pace than in the starter stage.
- Finisher Stage: The finisher stage is the final phase of broiler growth, starting around week seven or eight and continuing until market weight is reached. It is during this stage that broiler finisher feed comes into play.
Understanding Broiler Finisher Feed
Broiler finisher feed is specifically designed to meet the nutritional requirements of broilers during the final stage of their growth cycle. It is formulated with a balance of nutrients that support the birds’ optimal weight gain and muscle development as they approach market readiness.
The Key Nutritional Considerations
- Protein Content: Broiler finisher feed typically contains a slightly lower protein content compared to starter and grower feeds. This adjustment reflects the decreasing growth rate of broilers during the finisher stage. The protein content in finisher feed is still substantial, providing the necessary amino acids for muscle development and overall body maintenance.
- Energy Content: As broilers enter the finisher stage, their energy requirements decrease slightly. Broiler finisher feed is formulated to provide a balanced energy level that supports healthy weight gain without excessive fat deposition.
- Vitamins and Minerals: Broiler finisher feed includes an appropriate blend of vitamins and minerals to support the birds’ overall health and immune function. These include essential vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin D, and vitamin E, as well as minerals like calcium, phosphorus, and selenium.
When to Start Using Broiler Finisher Feed
The timing of introducing broiler finisher feed depends on various factors, including the desired market weight and the growth rate of the broilers. Generally, broiler finisher feed is introduced when the birds are around seven to eight weeks old or when they have reached approximately 70% to 75% of their target market weight.
It’s essential to monitor the growth progress of your broilers closely. If they are approaching the desired market weight earlier or later than expected, adjustments to the timing of introducing finisher feed may be necessary.
Examples from the Field
Let’s consider a couple of examples to illustrate the practical application of broiler finisher feed:
Example 1: Willys Poultry Farm
Willys Poultry Farm raises broilers with a target market weight of 4.5 pounds. Based on their previous experience, they start introducing broiler finisher feed when their birds reach around seven weeks of age. By closely monitoring their broilers’ growth progress, they ensure a steady growth rate and adjust the introduction of finisher feed accordingly. This allows them to achieve their desired market weight within the expected timeframe.
Example 2: Dahline’s Poultry Farm
Dahline’s Poultry Farm has a slightly different approach. They raise broilers with a target market weight of 5 pounds. Knowing that their broilers tend to reach the desired weight earlier than expected, they begin introducing broiler finisher feed when the birds reach approximately 70% of their target weight, which is around six and a half weeks of age. This strategy ensures that their broilers receive the appropriate nutrition during the crucial final weeks of growth.
By considering these examples, you can see that the timing of introducing broiler finisher feed can vary depending on factors such as the desired market weight, growth rate, and previous experiences on your farm. It’s important to closely monitor your broilers’ growth progress and make adjustments accordingly to ensure they receive the right feed at the right time.
Knowing when to use broiler finisher feed is essential for optimizing the growth and development of your broiler chickens. The finisher stage marks the final phase of their growth cycle, and introducing the appropriate feed at this stage ensures they receive the necessary nutrients for healthy weight gain and muscle development. By understanding the nutritional considerations and closely monitoring your broilers’ growth progress, you can determine the optimal time to start using broiler finisher feed on your farm.
Remember, each farm and flock is unique, so it’s crucial to adapt your feeding practices based on the specific needs of your broilers. With proper nutrition and care, you can raise healthy and thriving broiler chickens that meet your market weight targets and contribute to the success of your poultry farming endeavors.